Touring Strathmore’s Canada 150 legacy
Strathmore Mayor Michael Ell (centre) with the help of volunteers, donors and local stakeholders who had a part in erecting the new pavilion, cut the ribbon that officially opened the pavilion to the public on September 8.Pictured from the left are Donalda Ledene from the Alberta 55+ Games, Kimberley Starke-Thompson from Chinook Financial, Mayor Michael Ell, Jon Scouten from Remuda Building and Doug Taylor from the Kinsmen Club of Strathmore.
Looking around Strathmore it’s not hard to see the slow transformation of the town with a number of public projects, thanks in part to the Town of Strathmore’s Canada 150 projects. The Strathmore Standard took a quick tour with the Town of Strathmore’s Trent West and staff on September 1 to see what’s happening in town.
“It’s exciting times for the town of Strathmore, there are so many good projects,” he said.
“The library is going to be expanded. We’ve got the community pavilion on the east side of Kinsmen Park and that’s a new opportunity for residents to be out in the park and some opportunities for another farmer’s market to maybe take place on a different night,”said West.
Pavilion and Kinsmen Park updates
The grand opening for the town’s new pavilion at Kinsmen Park went off extremely well on September 8. Next the town will work to replace the playground at Kinsmen Park and continue a few park enhancements this summer.
“We started to do some of the enhancements and are getting ready to do some of the additional enhancements of Kinsmen Park, like the painting of some of the lights,” said West. “There will be a playground refurbishment and resurfacing that will start in the middle of September,” he said.
The plan is for the construction to take place during back-to-school season as the utilization of the park decreases slightly.
Construction is on schedule for the project on Second Avenue, which also includes the installation of storm sewers.
“The project itself is going really, really well we have no weather delays, we are definitely on schedule as planned,” said West. The town of Strathmore’s planner Chuck Procter is communicating with businesses on Second Avenue, sending out information and working with the Downtown Design Review Committee and the Chamber of Commerce during the project.
“Chuck is dealing with each of the individual businesses as well as the ones that might be impacted by the detour. We could have a communication strategy that we are using for all of the people that are affected, or potentially impacted by the downtown project,” said West.
“The nice thing about downtown is you’ve got a pedestrian walkway down the middle of the road with access to all of the stores off of the ped-way. The walk that you may normally take, if you can’t park in front of those businesses any other time, you have that nice wide pedestrian corridor down the middle of the road to take you to any of the businesses along the avenue,” said West.
“All of the connections into the lake are done, so we are now just waiting for sidewalks and sidewalk work to be completed,” he said.
“The refurbishment of the park and the storm sewer installation on Second was absolutely essential,” said West.
“The downtown is going to be beautiful with the curb returns and the plant material and the benches and new sidewalk. What they won’t see is the storm sewer system, which is going to help for the next several decades.”
Gray’s park pathways
Finally a tour of Gray’s Park reveals a new cut out natural pathway that residents can walk on right now.
“We’ve got it cut right now because we want to dry out the area. This pathway was put in over top of our water line,” said West. He explained that the pathway is located on the town’s property and circles the park.
A high point of the hill facing Thomas Drive is a potential location for an outdoor interpretive meeting space. The space will be a spot where visitors can stop and read about native birds, vegeatation and wetlands.
West explained that the pathway will not be a regional paved pathway, but more a natural mlti-purpose pathway.
“The standard is different,” he said. “We are going to put gravel in the natural area, not an asphalt surface and it’s not going to be as wide. It’s not going to be 2.5 meters, it’s probably going to be around 2 meters wide, so it allows both directions of travel on bike,” he said.
“People can walk on it, people can use it with their dogs, no problem, but once we get the gravel then there will be benches put out and garbage cans,” he said.
The pathway will be constructed in phases when complete the plan is to have it connect to the paved pathway via a bridge on Centennial.
“It’s going to be quite an exciting feature, we are really going to try and make this a focal point, or a tourism destination for people to come and enjoy the interpretive centre, and the walkway and spend time looking at the wetlands and the lake,” he said.
Renovations at the Aquatics Centre are also a part of the Canada 150 projects. The Aquatics Centre is now closed until the end of October 2017. The renovations will include the enclosure of the waterslide, the construction of a steam room and general upgrades to the HVAC (Heating Ventilation and air conditioning) system.
When finished the pool will be able to be used you-round.
For more information on all of the Town of Strathmore’s Canada 150 projects, please visit strathmore.ca, and follow the Canada 150 link.